Think About Renewing Your Educator’s License Early

1:12 pm Uncategorized

As most of you know, I am past retirement age and just seem to keep on working.  The reason I work –I enjoy it.

In order to keep working next year, I needed to renew my license. Five years ago I said I would never again renew.  Oh, well! I have been told many times, “Never say never!”

You are probably aware that the license renewal process has changed over the past two years. Last year fingerprinting was required and this year an Ethics test was added.  The process is not hard just time consuming.

I was determined to get this renewal task done early and not have to think about it again.  The USOE said we would have to wait until January to begin the process. On Monday of the third week in January, I logged on to the USOE website, https://secure.utah.gov/elr/renewal/welcome.html , and began my journey.

Needless to say as I read the webpage, I made my first error.  I understood about the background check and so I completed the forms and paid my $69. I printed the list of places to have the fingerprints done and determined that I would go to WSU’s Education Building for them because I had some papers to deliver to the Concurrent Enrollment Office. I planned to do all of this on Friday of that week.

I have copied the following directly from the WSU Website, hoping you will not make the same mistake I did.  From the webpage:

If you have not completed the fingerprint background check during the school year in which you wish to renew your license, click here. If you have not received an email stating your fingerprints have cleared (usually 15 to 20 days after electronic scan), do not proceed to request license renewal.

I read the first sentence, followed directions and clicked on the link. I followed the link and did exactly what it said

  • Completed the form
  • Paid my $69
  • Took the Ethics Test

Then I went right back to the Renewal webpage and continued reading after the first paragraph. After all, I had done everything they asked. I opened the “Professional Development and Employment Verification for Levels 2/3 License Renewal” form located at

http://www.schools.utah.gov/cert/require/renewal/renewalform.pdf

I completed the renewal form and printed it.  It did take a while to keyboard onto the document all my recertification points.  I was really glad that I work with administrators who had placed points in my PDV File in MyStudent.  I, too, had put some training in there; so, although I only needed 95 points it was easy to account for over 400 points. The PDV File made things so easy. (If you need a little help in understanding how to use the file, talk with your CTE Coordinator.) This renewal form is to be printed, signed by your principal and kept on file by you for at least one year.

WOW, all this done in just 3 hours.  I was proud of myself.   Why did it take so long? 

First, I started taking the Ethics test just as people were arriving at school.  There were several interruptions.  I would suggest that you do this at a time when you are alone and can concentrate.  Also, there were more questions than I thought there would be on the test, 25 to be exact.  I missed two but the USOE has a great way of making that OK. They remediate you immediately and then have you re-answer the same question. Luckily I answered the question correct the second time.

I was feeling bad about missing the two questions until I talked with Bob Wood and found that he had missed two also.  It turned out that our District’s policy exceeds the USOE policy.  Bob did tell me that he read the two suggested documents before he took the test.  These two documents are on the USOE website with the suggestion that you review them before you take the test. I wish I had read them.  The test might have gone faster.

Second, there are several places on the USOE website that give your information about renewing your license.  It seemed like every time I went back to the site, I ended up in a different place. This made me think I had missed something; so, I kept rechecking myself.  I finally printed out the information so that I could check off what I had completed.

On Friday I went to WSU to have my digital fingerprints done.  This is where things really fell apart.  No matter what the person taking my fingerprints did or had me do, I had 6 of my 10 fingers rejected.  There were several reasons given

  • Prints were worn away by chemical used in house cleaning
  • Friction
  • Age

No matter what the reason, I know three people who have had their fingerprints done since I was there and they now have “shiny-new” educator’s licenses to show.  I am still waiting for my USOE Fingerprint Rejection notice so that I can go back and have my prints done the “old-fashioned” way. I was told that the wait for that report could be 1-2 months.  Then I will have to wait 4-8 weeks after that to get the results of the ink prints. If I am counting right and everything goes well, this means that I am looking at May, 2011, before I can complete that final step, pay my $65 for my license and print it.

If things stretch past June 30, 2011, will I be able to get an extension? Who knows? Retirement may not be too bad.

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